Archive for January 21st, 2010

If you didn’t make it to the meeting about the future of Vauxhall which Chris wrote about last week, it’s well worth reading the lively account of what happened on Lurking About SE11.  And if you want to know the background you might also like to read the snappily titled Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea Opportunity Area Planning Framework Consultation Draft.  You can download it here – but be warned that it’s a 16Mb document which is 170 pages long. [Update: If you have tried to download it but got an error message, that’s because the Mayor’s website has been reorganised.  The link has now been updated to point to the new location.]

The future of Vauxhall and the wider ‘opportunity area’ has been a long-running topic, and doubtless will continue for a long time yet.  We featured the Vauxhall Supplementary Planning Document here just over a year ago and the proposed Northern Line extension last summer.

Part of the problem for residents (and their associations) trying to keep track of all this is that the decision making is very fragmented.  In a separate post, Lurking Around SE11 makes the perceptive point that:

It seems that there is an ongoing issue pertaining to the requests for permission lining up with the Mayor’s Plan for Nine Elms and the Vauxhall Supplementary Planning Document. Each time a developer submits a request for planning permission for a new building, the transport and infrastructure questions are only considered for the building in question by the local council (in this case, Lambeth). Does this mean that the developers will keep having planning permission granted because “just one more building” won’t affect the underground tube congestion? As long as Lambeth Council are seen to be proceeding on a building by building basis, there is less need for anybody to consider the overall area, and the effects that new buildings will have on older buildings and the surrounding townscape. Indeed, it’s rather impossible for residents to object, approve or comment on each new building because it’s so time consuming to work in this manner. Please could we consider multiple buildings and their effects on one another, before we have to comment on the next in the series?

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Back in October, we had to turn off the list of local planning applications which appeared in the right hand column.  The service is based on postcodes and Royal Mail decided to get heavy handed with the rights they claim over the postcode data, resulting in the service being withdrawn altogether – full details are in the original post.

The service has now been restored although with a slightly cryptic warning that is functioning with reduced postcode accuracy.  But it should mean that we don’t have to rely on spotting notices on lamp posts to find out what is going on.

The return of Planning Alerts may be linked to today’s launch by Sir Tim Berner-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, of a new government website giving access to a huge range of government data for creating just these kinds of useful applications. Planning Alerts is one of the first batch of applications featured on the site.

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